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In her letter of March 28, "Training Needed for Recycling," Charlotte Kennedy raises a great issue locally and nationally regarding recycling contamination. The more we add nonrecyclable items to our curbside bin, the harder it is for sorting facilities to handle and processors have less incentive to purchase our final recycled product.

As a graduate of Oregon State University/Republic Services' Master Recycler program and someone who remains involved with local recycling guidelines, the answer on what is appropriate to recycle in your curbside cart is actually pretty simple:

1. Paper includes products like mail, magazines, newspaper, cardboard and paperboard. If food (including drinks or frozen food) has ever touched it or if it's messy, it shouldn't go in.

2. Plastics are only bottles and jugs. A bottle has an opening smaller than its body, and a jug is simply a bottle with a handle. No other plastics should go in!

3. Metals are just steel cans, tin cans and aluminum cans. That's it!

Many people understandably still have questions or needs for clarification. In that case, I suggest:

1. Volunteers will be at Republic's locations in Corvallis, Albany and Dallas through April 12 to educate folks and answer questions.

2. Follow the Facebook page "Linn Benton Master Recyclers" — you can ask questions here and the administrators respond quickly.

3. Check out the website for the Corvallis Waste Prevention Action Team for lots of useful info.

Michael Fahey

Corvallis (March 31)

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